Freshman Presidential Debate 18 September 2013

Hi all, I’m Christopher Brown from The Miscellany News and the live blog of the Freshman Presidential Debate for the 2013 fall elections is going live in t-minus 5 minutes! Refresh the page to get live updates of everything happening at the debate.

Introductions have begun! Connor, class of ’14 pres, and Allie, VP for Ops, have introduced Bethan Johnson, moderator and EIC of The Misc.

Intros: Laura Wood wants to relive some of the craziness of freshman year. She claims she will listen to what people have to say. She will be a strong leader of the class of ’17 and wants the class to take the campus by storm.
“The class of ’17 is my family.”

Dan Fu Ruan wants to help as much as she can to help everyone. She claims to be dedicated to here responsibilities and be open to new ideas. She wants to enhance academic opportunities and campus security.
“I really do want to meet all of you and stick with you as much as I can.”

Jacob Devasgayam claims to have a lot of experience in government. He wants transparency and wants the board to represent the will of the people. He promises to get answers for any questions class members have.
“I pledge I will follow the general majority will of the class.”

Cecil Carey believes in inclusivity. He thought Vassar was a clique free environment, and believes Vassar still has work to do on that topic. He quotes Obama, saying we can be stronger if we work together. He claims to not have many skills, but will make it his sole goal to listen and synthesize the goals of the class.
“We can be friends, we really can.”

Drew Leventhal already has a plan to fix certain aspects of Vassar College. He says there is not time to waste in making an effective policy.
“We need to do this now. I can do that for you guys.”

teph Jump wants to have a positive impact on her school. She lead a charity event in her high school that raised money for world hunger. She wants to make the time here the best it can be. She wants to ask what can be changed. She promises to listen and to represent the class’ goals in the VSA.
“I’m happiest when I’m helping others.”

Nnennia Mazagwu identifies as an activist. She wants to have fun and promote creativity and vision. She believes in the class of 2017.
“I hope to be a part of who we eventually become.”

John Eubanks spent the last 8 1/2 years in the military and has worked on the Obama campaign and in the Pentagon. He focuses on social issues and organizations.
“I have a very direct rapport with the administration and with President Hill.”

Part one of the debate, respond and rebute.

Having just experienced orientation, name one thing you loved and two areas that need improvement.

Carey- The number one thing that went well was to acclimate the class to Vassar climate. Claims sexual assault meeting were important, maybe a little too long. He doesn’t believe in a flood of emails, and wants to work on communication. He also wants to make signing up for orgs easier.

Devasgayam- He liked time in fellow groups and interacting in smaller groups. He believes orientation was little bit to stratified at times, and wants people to make more personal friendships. He believes the sooner you meet people, the better.

Ruan- She loved the first house event, as well as I Am Vassar, and claimed that it helped people meet each other faster. She wants more organization during the activities fair, as well as there being more campus events.

Wood- Favorite moment was meeting her student fellow and group. She believes the Arlington Amble was a little chaotic, although she loved learning about Arlington. She also believes it was a little overscheduled.

Leventhal- He agrees with Wood about over scheduling, and there needs to be AC in the chapal.

Jump- The fellow groups are fantastic, but wishes she got a correct map.

Mazagwu- She liked the fact that integration happened fast. She felt very comfortable in the environment. She feels more comfortable at Vassar because of it.

Eubanks- Agrees with Wood about fellow groups. He wants to organize clubs and orgs, and have interaction between fellow groups.

In your first week, you’ve meet your pre major advisor. WHat do you see as the ideal advising system for freshman?

Jump-Meeting one on one with someone is helpful. She believes more effort should be put on giving people an advisor in their field. She wants to get schedules a little earlier in the summer. She wants it to be clearly about requirements for classes.

Mazagwu- She believes an advisor can give you an opportunity branch out and learn new things. She bonded with her pre major advisor and gained a lot of insight.

Eubanks- He knows the system didn’t work well for everyone. He believes there needs to be more accessibility with the advisors.

Leventhal- He agrees with the other candidates. He believes the advisors need more training. Also maybe a change in re registration in classes. He love the help of the student fellows.

Devasgayam- the more people you know in the system, the better off you are earlier. He agrees with Leventhal the most

Ruan- She likes he advisor, but want the first one on one meeting to be longer. She claims the system needs more direction.

Wood- She believes it is good to meet with other department heads. She hasn’t been introduces to the peer major advisor program.

Carey- He wants the advisors help to make a gameplan for all four years. He also wants class registration to be fixed.

Do you believe that your job as a president is to vote with the majority or highlight the key information.

Ruan- She wants to consult all her peers, and knows there can be dissent, but wants to take all kinds of advice. She knows some students can’t know everything about Vassar, and wants to relay information but also really believes in working the rest of her peers.

Wood- She wants to inform the class, also realizes that she may have to go against the majority sometimes. But she would explain her actions to the class.

Carey- He will not poll everyone when an issue comes up. He knows some people won’t care. His door is always open, and he will listen to any concerns that come up. He will try to go with the majority, and knows he has to make decisions.

Devasgayam- It’s important to remember that the minority opinion is important as well. You’re voting for him as a person and an individual, but will move forward with the majority. He believes that the finance comity need to be closes.

Mazagwu- It’s important to know that some people will not come to you. She wants go to more than just comities, but also orgs, and centers like LGBTQ and ALANA.

Eubanks- He wants people to be informed about decisions. He doesn’t want a majority to oppress a minority.

Leventhal- If you care about the subject, we should have a town hall meeting.

Jump- It’s important to keep people informed, and wants to listen but be able to explain her own view. It’s not just about what she thinks.

What is the primary purpose of having a class president?

Eubanks- He doesn’t want the class to be overlooked in any way. He wants the voice to be heard and any issues and wants to put forth votes.

Leventhal- We need to act for the will of the class and to inform people of the facts. He will act a liaison.

Jump- Our class is very diverse. She wants people to be heard. She wants to bridge the gap.

Mazagwu- She wants to educate herself on issues and wants to take constructive criticism. She wants to learn and grow.

Wood- She agrees with Jump and wants to be the voice of the people.

Ruan- She wants to be a bridge between the student body and wants to speak up with everyone.

Devasgayam- SHe wants delegation, facilitation, and wants to make the best of what we have. He wants representation.

Carey- He agres with Mazagwu and wants to find out what the issues are. He needs to know how to work the system.

Next section

If elected, what commitees are the most important to sit on, and why?

Wood- Academics and Activities. She wants to be involved in how education is managed here. She wants to help new clubs.

Ruan- She wants to sit on all committees. Most important: Academic and finance. She wants to know the info to make good decisions with fund allocation.

Devasgayam- Finance because you need funding to make big ideas happen. Activities because that is how students are getting engaged.

Carey- Finance- More money means more problems. Student Life because he is passionate about where he sleeps.

Leventhal- Operations because there is a lot of problems with the VSA. Finance needs to work on money sustanibility.

Jump- Student Life because she wants to know about how we live on campus. And finance because it is the only one that people cannot view.

Mazagwu- Student Life is not just about dorms, it is about biased events, and people need to have a voice. It is about minorities as well, and everyone getting a chance to have a voice.

Eubanks- Academics because that is the reason we are here. Recently there was a three year hiring freeze, and that is an issue.

Carey- You want to make a clique free environment. What are concrete steps to make this happen?

There has to be education to make this happen. It’s an abstract thing. He will make it his main goal and wants to promote it. He will work with every org that will here him.

Jump-How do you intend on keeping your promise for people to be heard?

She wants to listen to all the freshman. She will figure out what she needs to do to get this done.

Devasgayam- How would you decide want the class gets to know and what not?

Education is the foundation of democracy. He is not sure what it entails yet, but things that should be hidden are things that are very personal and things that shed bad light on things.

Mazagwu- What kinds of changes would you envision?

A lot of minorities need to be represented more and a lot of orgs need more funding. Minority students to not get the finance to do what they need. She has started to joining orgs that have to do with student life.

Wood- How will you make people more comfortable at Vassar?

She will work with the committees and want people to get involved and make sure that everyone feels at home here.

Eubanks- How do you intend on using your experience here at Vassar?

He served in campaigns to government orgs to the military to charities. He has a broad spectrum of leadership and an extreme amount of organizational skills. He can adapt quickly and efficiently.

Leventhal- What changes would you make on financing?

He can talk to people and they will listen to him because he represents the class of 2017.

Ruan- How will you ensure the solutions proposed will be in line with majority?

She wants to talk to people and will describe reasoning behind her decisions. She wants to work with people.

Open Forum

In ten words or less, why did you run for presidency?

Ruan- She has a lot of experience.

Carey-He cares and will get the job done

Leventhal- He has the experience and motivation

Mazagwu- She is authentic and self aware and wants to be socially conscious.

Eubanks- Wants to give a voice to the class

Wood- Wants to make change

Devagayam- I love Vassar

Jump- I will do good

How will you deal with minority voices?

Devasgayam- You must be honest, and you cannot put up a wall to the other people.

Carey- He can’t claim to understand what other people have gone through. He will listen, he will be objective, he will be honest.

Mazagwu- The information is available, and there are a lot of things already going on. We cannot just sit there with our leadership skills. We have to move forward.

Jump- She is an open minded individual and is ready to know if she is wrong. Her mother is Jamaican and has some experience with minority issue.

Leventhal- He wants to hear stories and problems. It needs to be one on one

Ruan- She believes everyone has the ability to listen. It’s not about being a president, it’s about being a friend.

Wood- She wants to learn where her place is, and is apathetic with everyone.

Eubanks- He learned how to navigate the red tape and it will make things easier for him.

How would you get info to the masses?

Leventhal- He wants more face to face contact. He wants to go door to door.

Carey- He will put in all the hours needed. He wants inclusivity. But there is a certain degree of apathy, and he will not force info onto people.

Jump- She will not cram info down your throat. She will send emails and use other social media. The people who want to be informed can be.

Mazagwu- She wants to make herself available. She wants to go to club meetings and be there for the class. She believes she is already doing those things.

Devasgayam- Overtime, things will change. So it’s about trying new things. Anonymous methods of getting info to people.

Ruan- She knows there are open meetings and social media is important. She wants people to talk to people, that’s when information is not trivial. Stall news.

Wood- Face to face contact, whether that be office hours or town hall meetings. She wants to get the word out.

Eubanks- A blog or discussion forum, and wants people to engage. He wnats the leadership to also engage.

How will you navigate your privilege in this position?

Carey- He will not change if he wins. He will listen, but will not be holier than thou. He sees himself as a delegate, and conform to the will of the class.

Wood- She learned about check your privilege. She loves the phrase here at Vassar and wants to stay level headed.

Ruan- I only have as much privilege as my peers give me.

Leventhal- He’s just a kid who goes to class and struggles like a normal student.

Jump- I am just one of you. She wants to bridge the gap, and get voices out there. She will check her own privilege.

Devasgayam- She wants to stay in contact will all groups of people. He wants to stay grounded in who he is.

Mazagwu- She wants to acknowledge the privilege and realize that it is one person sitting on the council. Everyone needs representation. People need to remember to educate themselves.

Eubanks- He does not think this position should be about privilege. He believes in service for others and views the position as a position of honor.


Eubanks- He wants to service the whole freshman class and makes sure that no one is ever oppressed on campus.

Mazagwu- Leadership means that she is representing the people. She wants to represent the conflicts brought to the table. She feels she is already being a leader and will always educate herself.

Jump- We should already be active. She wants more issues to be addressed. She is in Davi 340c and wants to help all.

Leventhal- He wants to transition people into college smoother. There needs to be more involvement in clubs. Deece food is important. We need to meet more people. Inter dorm party.

Carey- Quote by Jefferson, it’s too long. It’s about education and spirit. He has the tone and spirit to get the job done. he will ask the tough questions. He is like all of us. He wants to steal ideas…

Devasgayam- He lives in Lathrop. Another quote, still too long. It was about leadership and love. He wants to be kept accountable. he wants to be available for the class.

Ruan- She is a dedicated leader. She has known leaders who do nothing, but she promises to do what is asked of her and will be dedicated. She wants to be a friend to all.

Wood- Your votes would be a great birthday present. Our outlook is fresh at Vassar, and she is learning along side us. We all want to make a difference, and we can figure it out together. She will fight for what you want.

Well that’s all folks! Thank you for reading the live blog of the debate. Who will win? Who will lose? Stay tuned!!